The hiring market for lateral attorneys is thriving. Indeed, the legal economy is very strong, and mobility between law firms — for both associates and partners — is increasingly accepted. Because law firms save significant amounts of money by hiring experienced attorneys who do not need a lot of training and can comfortably handle projects from the outset, competition for top lateral talent is fierce. As a result, search firms are very busy, and well-credentialed attorneys practicing at a prestigious law firm are likely to receive numerous calls from recruiters.
Legal recruiters play a dual role in the lateral hiring process. Recruiters help law firms by finding, screening and presenting only those candidates who appear to be a good fit for that firm. And recruiters help attorneys (those who are receptive to a potential change, of course) by contacting them and describing available opportunities, providing insight and expertise into the market, building a relationship, presenting them to the firm if there is a potential fit and navigating them through each stage of the interviewing and hiring process.
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